Do Boxers Lift Weights? And Should They?

powerlifting to build strength

Getting stronger and building muscle is a goal for many boxers throughout their fitness journey. There are many ways to workout and build strength. And from a complete training standpoint, we are going to find out if it is good for boxers to lift weights.

Lifting weights is a great way to increase muscle and build explosive power. However, the workout itself should differ from that of bodybuilders and weightlifters. Strength training that purely focuses on muscle growth can cause a boxer to become too bulky and as a result they can become slower.

When planning out your boxing workouts, it’s important to include strength training. Exercises designed to specifically get stronger are required. But it shouldn’t overshadow the boxing training as a whole.

For example, whether you’re using boxing as a fighter or for general fitness. In order to manage your agility and speed, your strength and conditioning exercises should be around 20% of your overall boxing workout.

In other words if you’re working out 5 days a week, using one of the days for only strength and condition work gives you a nice balance.

Finding strength building exercises that involve pushing and pulling motions is along the lines of what you should be looking for. Workouts like the dumbbell bench press are complementary to the standard punch. Where you would be exerting force from you back outwards away from you body working on core and upper body strength.

When you compare that to a standard bicep curl, they just don’t compare. Workouts like the bicep curl are great to build that muscle. But it really doesn’t do much for you from a boxing stand point.

How Often Should Boxers Lift Weights

If you’re a boxer who chooses to lift weights. Consider weightlifting exercises that either complement your boxing routine. Or include weightlifting on a smaller portion of your exercise .

When building strength for boxing, it’s important to keep in mind that your boxing technique comes first. Reserving a smaller piece of your workout that focusses primarily on building muscle is a great way to include it into your boxing routine. Keeping strength building exercises to 1-2 days a week is a good balance for most boxers.

As mentioned previously in the article, strength and conditioning exercises should be kept at about 20% of your boxing routine as a whole. In other words, 25-30 minutes of lifting weights in a 2 hour workout or 1 day of weights in a 5 day boxing workout, should improve your results altogether and helps you stay balanced.

Why Boxers Shouldn’t Lift Weights

When lifting weights, boxers should be wary of how much of their total exercise consists of weight lifting as well as how heavy the weights will be that they plan on using.

Boxing consists of many quick and explosive movements, from head to toe. Although you’re building muscle with heavy weights, the exercises are typically slower and give no benefit in building the explosiveness you need.

What you want to avoid here is becoming overly big, where it will hinder your ability to optimally box at the best of your abilities. Not to say the bigger your muscles grow the worse you will become as a boxer but more to advance simultaneously to allow yourself time to adjust.

Utilizing exercises that both build muscle and keeps your movements snappy is something a boxer should focus more on when building strength. Along side this type of training, you should be focusing on flexibility and movement exercises to ensure you stay consistent with body growth.

Whats A Good Way For Boxers To Lift Weights

It may be interesting to note, that many boxers past and present prefer to not lift weights at all. The idea behind it being that putting too much emphasis on building muscle takes away from the overall boxing workout.

When using weights to build muscle for boxing, finding exercises that complement boxing movements is a good way to include strength training into your boxing workout. Avoiding the exercises related to powerlifting or bodybuilding, is typically what you want to do as a boxer.

Sticking with simple strength building workouts that are bodyweight focussed is a more natural way of growing muscles for a boxer specifically. Boxers rely on both speed and strength, and finding ways to grow both is the balance to look for.

Using weights such as dumbbells or barbells is a good way for boxers to build and tone muscle. They should be included to have a more complete workout, but it should be evenly split with other conditioning workouts at the same time.

how a boxer should lift weights

Another way to include weights with your boxing workouts is shadowboxing with light weights. Going through the motions of an actual fight or boxing movements with the weights, could help with building strength without sacrificing your speed.

Bodyweight or also known as Calisthenics, are forms of exercises that rely completely on using your own body as the form of resistance. They actually go very well if you’re boxing. Most of the exercises consist of functional movements that engage heavily on your core. Important elements that are always included with most boxing routines.

Does Lifting Weights Make Your Punches Stronger

Comparing a powerlifter to their respective weight class in boxing, you will probably notice the size difference right away. Although much bigger looking in strength the workouts that got them there typically are slower weightlifting movements.

Technique and training along with strength and conditioning is how to improve your punch strength and build muscle. Working with weights alone and not developing any other boxing skills would not improve you as a boxer overall.

Lifting weights will make you stronger, and your punches could see some results from it. But without working on boxing form and technique your punches would not get to the level you’re looking for. You will find significant muscle growth but a balance workout of boxing technique and strength training should be used in order to improve as a boxer.

Throwing a proper punch in boxing requires many areas of your body working together. The stable position of your feet and legs. To the twist and torque from your core, is how a lot of the punch power is generated.

Weightlifting alone just doesn’t cut it when looking for punching power. Including a certain level of weights is of course ideal. But make sure to follow up with plenty of boxing exercises to make sure your progressing well.

increasing punch strength


Strength plays a factor in boxing. Having the knockout power is necessary to be successful. How you build the muscle should be the deciding factor. Typically when looking to improve as a boxer. If you’re going through the motions and focusing on boxing related workouts. Your body should get toned and muscle would build.

It would be something that takes consistent work and determination. Making a clear path and sticking to it is a sure way to get it done.

Plan out a boxing workout schedule in advance. Be sure to include the various speed and conditioning workouts as well. A great one can be found here. Having the plan and keeping to it gives you a greater chance at success. Good Luck!

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